SOUTH KOREA – A2 Milk Co, a New Zealand public listed company, has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Yuhan Corp in South Korea, more than a decade after an earlier foray into that country which ended in litigation.

According to New Zealand Herald, the Auckland-based, Sydney-headquartered company signed an exclusive sales and distribution agreement with Yuhan to promote and distribute a2 branded products in South Korea.

The products will be sourced from New Zealand and Australia, with nutritional products produced by Synlait Milk.

Early sales are expected in the second half of this calendar year, after the company’s shares rose 16 cents to US$12.36.

“Yuhan Corporation is a long established, highly credentialed and principled Korean business,” said a2 managing director Geoff Babidge.

“We share similar values and ambitions, and with our complimentary capabilities believe that together we can build a meaningful business in Korea.”

The milk marketing firm first tried to enter South Korea with an exclusive distribution deal with Purmil, formerly Lotte Dairy, to sell fresh A2 milk in the Asian nation in 2007.

Purmil chose to pull A2 milk from the Korean market in late 2008 year, prompting a2 Milk to sue in 2010, to which a settlement was eventually reached in 2011.

Separately, a2 said it was about to introduce a new powder product blended with New Zealand sourced Manuka honey.

That comes the same day Manuka honey health products maker Comvita said it may face a takeover with an unnamed third party undertaking due diligence, while also downgrading annual earnings guidance as wet weather weighed on honey production.